Umami Burger: Where To Go For Great Burgers In Southern California
Love burgers and LA bound? Head to Umami Burger!
It’s been crazy hot in Los Angeles for the past few weeks and I’ve been hiding out in an air-conditioned room not wanting to melt. The other day I had to head over to Pasadena to meet a friend and after we separated, I was hungry. There are a lot of options in Old Pasadena on Colorado Street but I knew exactly what I wanted. I had to try out an Umami Burger once again.
My cousin had posted on Facebook that he hated In N Out Burger and Umami Burger was better. You may have heard about In N Out. It’s a famous fast food burger chain in certain states like California, Texas, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona. I think people clamor over them because unless you’re in those states, you can’t get them. They are cheap and tasty. They even have a secret menu.
Umami Burger is a small chain with a handful of locations based in California, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Japan. It was created by a fellow by the name of Adam Fleischman, who was previously in the wine business and is a self-taught chef. The menu is based on the 5th taste (the other 4 being sweet, salty, sour, and bitter), umami, which is a borrowed Japanese word which translates to “pleasant savory taste”.
I went to Umami Burger when it first opened in 2009. There was a lot of hype around the opening. I went with one of my best friends and we walked out of there wondering what the deal was. Fast forward to 2013 and I still had a low opinion of the place. But after hearing my cousin rave about his burger, I had to try it again. I still believe that you can’t compare a fast food burger that comes in a combo for less than $6 to a burger restaurant where the burger alone is minimum $10.
I went, I sat, and I ordered the Original Umami burger and a Mexican Coke. I didn’t order fries or sides to fill me up. I just wanted to focus on the meat. The burger comes with a parmesan crisp, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onion, and house ketchup. The menu has grown since the now-defunct La Brea location that I went to in 2009. They have quite a selection of salads, sides, meat burgers, un-meat burgers, beer, wine, and sodas.
My verdict?? The burger was good and it had improved a lot since I first went in 2009.
Here’s a better look at my Umami Burger:
I like my meat cooked medium rare
The Pasadena location
I have been back to Umami several times over the years and recently at their location in Orange County (Costa Mesa). I went with my cousins and their children (family friend!) and we all enjoyed our burgers!
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